Infectious disease physician awarded Churchill Fellowship

August 8, 2014

Armadale Health Service (AHS) Infectious Diseases Physician Clinical Associate Professor Sue Benson has been awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to undertake an international study tour.

Sue, who is also a clinical microbiologist at Royal Perth Hospital, will travel to Sweden, UK, Netherlands and USA to explore innovative methods in medical education, health informatics and microbiology to improve antibiotic use and the management of infection.

“My focus will be looking at ways to improve our diagnostic reasoning around infection to optimise which patients get antibiotics and ensuring these drugs are used to best effect with limited collateral damage from misuse,” Sue said.

“I believe this can be achieved by enhancing how the microbiology laboratory is used by clinicians, integrating smarter information systems, as well as optimising our undergraduate and post-graduate education in this area.”

Sue said WA Health already has some great antimicrobial stewardship programs in place to address these issues, but they are still in the early days of development.

“Our approach to antibiotics in medicine needs to be smarter and more precise to find the balance of effectively treating those patients who will benefit, but avoid overuse,” she said.

“The Fellowship is an exciting opportunity for me to learn from international initiatives and bring back the best ideas.”